The City of Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB) has started a series of events to highlight how the city is developing as a destination, with its first stop last week in London. Among the speakers were Demetrios Karamitsos-Tziras, Greece’s ambassador to London, and the president of the City of Athens Development and Destination Management Agency, Maria Logotheti. Future events will take place in Brussels and The Hague.
It is expected that in 2017 more than five million visitors will come to Athens, many of them attending corporate events, thanks to the fact that the Greek capital is climbing into the top 25 conference tourism destinations. There are many reasons beyond Greece’s warm climate to draw visitors to Athens, such as the high level of professionalism in the culture and networking dynamics. The ambassador also highlighted the strong infrastructure which had been borne out of the 2004 Olympics.
In recent years, there has been much coverage of Greece’s financial crisis, but Demetrios Karamitsos-Tziras offered this reassurance: “After the financial crisis, there seems to be a keen interest in investing in Greece, marking a clear development tendency.”
Athens’ cultural attractions scarcely need to be mentioned. The remains of its ancient past as a centre of Hellenic culture and learning can be seen across the city, most dramatically in the Parthenon at the Acropolis. There are a number of unique meeting venues in Athens, including HCCE’s Zappeion Exhibition Hall. Dating back to the nineteenth century, it was built for the revival of the Olympic Games and is one of the first European buildings to be designed specifically with conferences in mind. The building is beautiful, with classical architecture echoing its ancient heritage seen all over Athens.